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briefs

Company to expand, add 6 jobs

Quake Manufacturing Inc. plans to invest $1 million in new equipment and add six employees, according to a Friday statement.

The tool-and-die company, 3923 Engle Road, will make a formal announcement April 10 as well as have a 10-year tax abatement request introduced to the City Council. Officials have not yet computed how much the business will save.

“Investing in new equipment will allow us to stay competitive in the manufacturing industry, Paul Quake, CEO of the business, said in a joint statement with city and county leaders. “This investment will also provide us the opportunity to take on more.”

Quake Manufacturing was established in 1990 by owner Hermann Quake and expanded to its current 8,000-square-foot location in 1996. It currently employs 11 workers.

Quake Manufacturing plans to complete the project by 2017.

“Longtime, successful businesses are the backbone of the city and I’m delighted to see Quake Manufacturing investing in its future, our workforce and our community,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement.

New-home sales fall for second month

Sales of U.S. new homes fell in February for the second straight month, a reminder that the depressed housing market remains weak despite some improvement.

The Commerce Department said Friday that new-home sales dropped 1.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 homes. Sales have fallen nearly 7 percent since December.

Still, there were some positive signs in the report. The government revised December’s sales figures up to show an annual rate of 336,000, the best sales pace in a year.

And the median sales price for new homes surged in February more than 8 percent, to $233,700. That’s the highest median price since June and could suggest builders are anticipating more sales in the months to come.

Facebook opposes demand on passwords

Facebook is warning employers not to demand the passwords of job applicants, saying that it’s an invasion of privacy that opens companies to legal liabilities.

The social networking company is also threatening legal action.

An Associated Press story this week documented cases of job applicants who are being asked, at the interview table, to reveal their Facebook passwords so their prospective employers can check their backgrounds.

In a post on Friday, Facebook’s chief privacy officer cautions that if an employer discovers that a job applicant is a member of a protected group, the employer may open itself up to claims of discrimination if it doesn’t hire that person.

US Airways discussing AMR takeover plan

US Airways Group Inc., seeking support for a possible American Airlines merger, is discussing a takeover plan with some creditors of the bankrupt carrier and their advisers, people with knowledge of the talks said.

Executives have laid out details of US Airways’ proposal for a combined airline to some members of the unsecured creditors committee and gotten a positive reception, said the people, who declined to be identified because the terms aren’t public. The goal would be to complete a merger before American parent AMR Corp. exits Chapter 11, the people said.

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